About Weekly Mastery Lectures:
The Weekly Mastery Lectures are ~2h, small-group, sessions that will help you master the concepts and theory presented in the course lectures. They include detailed, typeset notes that explain the terminology and notation. The notes are carefully designed as interactive documents that provide you with a chance to engage the material during the session so you can test your understanding, and also include representative, fully-solved problems and additional practice problems.
During the Mastery Lectures we will look at detailed, developed solutions, meant to illustrate different aspects of the material in a systematic, structured and easy-to-follow approach. Solutions are colour-coded to make it easy for you to see through the barrage of symbols and focus on the key concepts. It’ll also help you learn to structure your answers efficiently and effectively, so that the logic of the solution is clear to you (and the marker!).
The sessions are also designed with a view of the entire course in mind, so you know where to invest your time both in terms of success in this class, as well as in terms of the topics that will have the greatest application in future classes.
The Weekly Mastery Lectures will help you with:
- Time Management: even if you’re keeping up with the class on your own, the Weekly Mastery Lectures will help you make better use of your study time. The notorious difficulty of McGill math classes is not inherent to the content itself; rather, it is the sheer volume of material that makes the classes so challenging. Better to spend 2h in a weekly session that will help you really understand the concepts and complete assignments yourself, rather than spending 8-10+h banging your head against the textbook and trying to decipher online resources only to get answers that don’t really make much sense to you, and have it haunt you come exam time, when you’ve got 4 other classes to study for.
- Maintaining Commitment: despite the best of intentions to keep up with material and not use Uncle Wolfram for Webworks, McGill & Montreal have their way of always offering up plenty of reasons that derail the best laid plans. So you make a financial commitment to a weekly session that helps you reach your goal. It’s like the gym-membership model: you can workout on your own, but it’s a lot easier to reach your goals when you surround yourself with others who are working towards the same end. Knowing that you need help to reach a goal (& acting on it!) is knowing how to find the success you want.
- Math Therapy: I believe that anyone who wants to learn math, can. If you feel you’re terrible or hopeless at math, or just don’t enjoy it, there’s probably a list of bad math teachers somewhere in your past that would go a long way to explaining the difficulties you have, & no one wants to spend their time feeling like they just can’t get it. However, if you’re motivated and willing to do the work and practice, then you can definitely succeed. I’ve seen it hundreds of times: students go from failing in a fantastically impressive way to acing the class. The Weekly Mastery Lectures will go a long way to rehabilitating your relationship with math. Whatever your level, I want to help you reach your goals in this course – there’s so much more to gain than just a good grade in rising to the challenge.
- Top of the Class: many students who attend the Weekly Mastery Lectures don’t want to just pass the class, they want to understand the material at an intuitive level, &nd they want to ace the class. The weekly lectures provide a wealth of information that help you develop general, transferable skills in mathematical literacy and reasoning, and I work hard to help students do their very best (and many have both aced their classes and finished very top of the class).
About Midterm Mastery Prep:
These small-group sessions will focus on exam-level problems from the most challenging content seen so far. We’ll look at strategies for saving time and structures for minimizing computational errors; and break down the most complicated topics to make them really accessible.
The sessions includes detailed, typeset notes, including a lot challenging practice problems. The notes include carefully-structured, colour-coded explanations so you can focus on understanding the material (instead of just frantically copying from the board), and you’ll have lots of time to actually attempt solving problems, to ensure that you’re able to apply your understanding to exam-level questions, and get immediate feedback.
About Final Mastery Prep:
The Final Mastery Prep sessions are highly structured and efficient sessions designed to help you take your understanding of the course concepts to the next level. We’ll look at strategies for saving time and structures for minimizing computational errors; and break down the most complicated topics to make them really accessible.
The sessions includes detailed, typeset notes, including >200 challenging practice problems. The notes include carefully-structured, colour-coded explanations so you can focus on understanding the material (instead of just frantically copying from the board), and you’ll have lots of time to actually attempt solving problems, to ensure that you’re able to apply your understanding to exam-level questions, and get immediate feedback. By the end of the session, you should feel confident about the sections you’ve mastered, and know exactly where to focus your efforts in the days leading up to the exam.
About Webwork Worshops:
The WebWork Workshops are a space for you to complete your webwork assignments *and* actually understand the point of each question, without spending hours trying to decipher cryptic answers on online forums, or just copy-pasting what Uncle Wolfram tells you to.
Ideally, WebWork is a system meant to check that you’ve done enough practice, and that you’ve seen all the different basic applications of the theory in your class. Unfortunately, most students get stuck in a WebWork Spiral of Doom, in which they don’t have to do practice problems because of work in other classes, end up scouring the internet for answers without understanding anything they’re doing, which inevitably takes a lot of time and leaves them further behind, & the cycle begins anew.
The sooner you break out of this cycle, the better: these sessions will cover the most challenging questions from your WebWork and show you how they should be tackled, and also ensure you know what sections to focus on, if you need more practice with the ideas covered in a particular problem. You’ll be better able to evaluate your current understanding of the material in the class, better able to follow the material in class, and better prepared for your midterm and final exams.